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Bruce Sterling

Bruce Sterlingauthorjournalisteditorand critic, was born in 1954. Best known for his ten science fiction novels, he also writes short storiesbook reviewsdesign criticismopinion columns, and introductions for books ranging from Ernst Juenger to Jules Verne. His nonfiction works include THE HACKER CRACKDOWN: LAW AND DISORDER ON THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER (1992), TOMORROW NOW: ENVISIONING THE NEXT FIFTY YEARS (2003), and SHAPING THINGS (2005). He is a contributing editor of WIRED magazine and writes a weblog. During 2005, he was the “Visionary in Residence” at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. In 2008 he was the Guest Curator for the Share Festival of Digital Art and Culture in Torino, Italy, and the Visionary in Residence at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam. In 2011 he returned to Art Center as “Visionary in Residence” to run a special project on Augmented Reality. Bruce served as Visionary in Residence at the Center for Science and the Imagination in 2013. During his residency he created “Petroglifs,” an original exhibit of 21st century petroglyphs carved into Arizona desert rock with laser cutters.

Bruce Sterling: Using Art to Cross Borders

Bruce Sterling WeldingLife gets intensely personal at national borders, writes Bruce Sterling, science fiction author, design critic and our very own Visionary in Residence at ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination.

In a Future Tense article for Slate, Sterling muses about borders, open-source hardware, cultural dislocation and his interactive installation piece for Emerge, “My Future Frontier/Mi Futura Frontera.”

“Borders are dynamic and morally contradictory,” argues Sterling. “They process the individual, but they’re not built for his participation. You can live near a border, and prosper from tourism and arbitrage, but dwelling within the borderline is metaphysically impossible. A border crossing is a cultural clash.”

“My Future Frontier/Mi Futura Frontera” was designed at the Torino Fablab in Turin, Italy, and is built using Intel’s new Galileo circuit board. Sterling describes it as “a whirling tower of cultural images, surrounded by a jittery pair of marionettes. These polite border-crossing migrants do their best to obey the gestures of the viewer of the artwork. Like most of us in the passport office and the customs waiting queue, they’re doing the best to go through the motions. But they’re puppets of a system that isn’t built for their benefit, and reactions can get out of hand.”

Read the full article at Future Tense to learn more about the U.S.-Mexico border, Arduino and the global tech-hacker scene, and Bruce’s next stop after Emerge. Sterling’s article is part of a series exploring this year’s Emerge theme, “The Future of Me.”

Video: Bruce Sterling Update from Turin

Bruce Sterling and his collaborators at the Turin Maker Lab have been hard at work on their Emerge project, “My Future Frontier/Mi Futura Frontera.” Take a peek behind the scenes!

Progress Report: Bruce Sterling’s My Future Frontier / Mi Futura Frontera

Bruce Sterling Welding

Science fiction legend and Emerge spiritual leader Bruce Sterling is hard at work with collaborators from the Turin Maker Lab on his project, “My Future Frontier/Mi Futura Frontera,” which explores how geographic place, national borders, culture and technology shape how we define our identities.

Bruce’s most recent progress report is a spectacular set of images documenting the process of creating “My Future Frontier,” which he says will be all about welding, jack-rabbits, lasers, Pancho Villa and huge plywood bicycle wheels.

To see the entire set of photos, visit

Mi Futura Frontera 2


Mi Futura Frontera 3

My Future Frontier / Mi Futura Frontera

An interactive installation designed by science fiction legend Bruce Sterling and collaborators from the Turin Maker Lab that considered the significance of national borders for individual identity.

Visualization - My Future Frontier
A visualization of “My Future Frontier / Mi Futura Frontera,” created by Bruce Sterling and the Turin Maker Lab.

Where You Are Is Who You Are

Visualization - My Future Frontier

Your identity is shaped by your place, as well as who you’re with and your cultural connections.  As our technology changes, the line between what is you and not you also changes. At Emerge 2014, roam through the strange structure created by the legendary science fiction writer Bruce Sterling (our “Visionary in Residence”) and the Turin (Italy) Maker Lab, as this environment changes its shape and motion in reaction to your personal choices. It’s called “My Future Frontier / Mi Futura Frontera” – a vision of borderlands to come.